This article is over a week old but I didn’t see it before. Back in July, they found some human remains in a canal near the Appomattox River in Virginia. They figured it was probably 25-year-old Gerald Randall “Randy” Marion, but it took till late August to identify him. Marion disappeared on February 9, 2008, after he went for an ATV ride and never came back. They later found his ATV flipped over in the canal, the same canal where they found his body downstream two and a half years later.
No cause of death is known at this time and, given the condition of the remains, probably authorities will never know for sure what happened. But the circumstances indicate Randy probably died in an accident. Perhaps he was knocked unconscious when he flipped the ATV, and then he drowned, his body swept away by the water.
Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian girl who was kidnapped by a stranger and held captive for eight years, has written a book, 3096 Days, about her experience. It comes out in Britain on September 9 and in the US on September 16. This article has more info:
Bizarrely, Miss Kampusch, who is now 22 and presents a talk show on Austrian television, marked her tormentor’s death by saying she was in mourning because in a macabre way he had become “part of my life”. […] Miss Kampusch is considered to have made a good recovery in the circumstances. However, the psychological scars of her ordeal are still very much in evidence: she has bought both his house and his car.
I’ve read Sabine Dardenne’s memoir of her kidnapping/captivity experience, I Choose to Live, and it was pretty good. (A candidate for Charley’s recommended books page? Anyone?) I’ll definitely read Natascha’s when I can get my hands on a copy.
Sabine was held for several months, if I recall, and she was twelve, four years older than Natascha was when she was kidnapped. In her book Sabine shows none of the ambiguous feelings towards her kidnapper that Natascha seems to have; in fact she hardly talks about him at all and calls him names like “beast” and “animal” instead of by his name. Her book aside, Sabine seems to have faded into relative obscurity since she testified at her captor’s trial; I heard that she had a normal life, a boyfriend and a job. Natascha on the other hand is on television. Another difference: Sabine had a normal happy family life, but Natascha’s mother was reportedly abusive to her.
Natascha, Sabine, Shawn Hornbeck, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard should all get together and talk. I know Elizabeth and Jaycee have been in touch with each other.